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Frequently Asked Questions

* When do we begin the college process?

As soon as a student feels ready to discuss their current high school landscape and how their current steps may prepare them for their future path, we are ready to start talking.

Early high school students most want to understand which courses they should sign up for; if they should move up or down in course levels; whether or not to continue with a foreign language; what kinds of extracurricular activities to focus on; how to enhance their high school résumé; and more.

Ideally, by the time students students reach 11th grade, they are ready to begin sitting for SATs or ACTs and making their college plan.

* How do we begin?

We start with a thorough review of high school credentials including courses taken; grades; test scores, if available; evaluation of student learning style; areas of interest, and more.

* How do you design my student’s college list?

The suggested list of colleges is prepared individually for each student and starts with fit and chances for success.

We look at student (and/or family) preferences and values; academic interests; learning and social fit; and testing and admissions ranges in order to design a list with a range of selectivities.

* ”What if I don’t know what I want to major in at college?”

No worries! Not every 17-year-old is certain about what to pursue in college. Together, we look at the student’s academic strengths and interests, as well as personality and interest assessments, to present both choices and possibilities.

*Do you meet virtually, such as via Skype?

Yes! If meeting in person is difficult, whenever there is an internet connection we can bridge locations and time zones by meeting over Skype. My Skype address is @achievecoach.

* College is expensive. What are the options for an affordable education?

The conversation around cost of college is a family responsibility that needs to take place early in the process. We take each family’s affordability criteria into account and discuss how to approach the college search from the perspective of cost so parents feel more in control of the financial aspect of a college education.

If the possibility of merit money is guiding the college search, we take that criterion into account early in the process.

For families that require an in-depth and specialized look at their overall finances and college affordability, I can make outside referrals.

* How do you assist with the college essay? Will my child’s voice come through?

The student’s voice comes through loud and clear since it is their story, and the submitted essay is the student’s own work. Consulting around the essay is all about helping the student to probe more deeply and communicate a message to admissions with strength and impact. Editing without a pen comes first, and then the polishing.

*Do you actually visit the college campuses?

Certainly! College life and offerings have changed dramatically since parents were of college-going age, so staying current on evolving trends is important.

By visiting dozens of colleges each year, I explore campuses; meet with admissions representatives; chat with students; peek in on classes; even check out the libraries and cafeterias to gather useful information that I bring back to my clients. There is nothing like stepping foot on campus to gain a flavor beyond what the brochures and guidebooks show.

* Where do your students get admitted?

My students have been admitted to a wide variety of colleges and universities ranging from close to home; across the United States; and internationally.

Clients apply to good-fit schools that speak to their high school credentials; college goals; learning style and social fit; as well as affordability parameters. Admission to any school is based on a variety of factors, some of which are quantitative, some of which are “whole picture,” and to a varying degree are almost always viewed with a subjective eye by admissions as to what the student may bring to the freshman class.

Whether admitted to selective colleges; Ivies; public Ivies; honors colleges; or specialized schools, my students’ excellent results reflect well-executed applications that highlight track record and strengths. For a current listing of client admissions successes, click here.

* Who are the students you typically work with?

Fundamental to my practice is this perspective: All students should have the opportunity to become who they are meant to be. With this point of view as my guide, I work with students of all academic abilities, ranging from learners with motivation or learning challenges to those headed to the most highly selective colleges and universities.

* How often do you and the student meet?

To an extent, that depends on the student and their needs. We set up meetings according to milestones and deliverables, ex. choosing courses; list presentation; planning campus visit schedules during school vacations; essay work; interview prep; reviewing applications in the fall of senior year; etc.

While this translates to approximately 8 - 10 meetings, keep in mind that some students prefer to draft essays in real time and in person while others prefer to work independently, submitting scheduled drafts for review.

* Do you work with transfer students?

Absolutely. One third of students transfer colleges every year for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s about fit; distance from home; emotional challenges; cost; interest in and availability of an academic major that has evolved over the early college experience.

Objectives of transfer students tend to incorporate the above factors while also preserving as much accumulated credit as possible to enable timely graduation.

* What distinguishes you from other college professionals?

My students tell me that they emerge from the college process with several wins:

  • Great admissions choices
  • Better self-knowledge
  • Stronger confidence in their abilities to express their strengths and accomplishments

Because they are the focus of each meeting and conversation, my students work to the best of their abilities in preparing well-executed applications. I provide them with individualized advising that speaks to who they are today as well as the young adult that they will soon be.

My background in personal coaching connects to students’ skills and values as well as a view of how to make the most of what lies ahead in college.

Most of my clientele comes from word of mouth referrals, and I am honored to be a resource to those I currently work with as well as their friends, colleagues and extended family.

AchieveCoach
College Consulting

marla@achievecoach.com

978 440 8210

SKYPE: achievecoach

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